Sunday, May 19, 2013 5:15 PM
Organ Recital: Richard Spotts
Guest organist Richard Spotts from Doylestown, Penn., plays a recital on the Cathedral’s great organ. $10 suggested donation.
Charles-Arnould Tournemire and his L’Orgue Mystique
Charles Tournemire (1870-1939), the renowned organist titulaire of Sainte-Clotilde in Paris, was a prolific composer and an improviser extraordinaire whose greatest chef-d’œuvre was his magnum opus, L’Orgue Mystique. Written between 1927-1932, L’Orgue Mystique is a two-hundred-fifty-three movement cycle of liturgical pieces based upon over three-hundred Gregorian Chants. This musical monument transformed the sound of the organ world, welcoming organ music into modernity while vesting it in the eternal musical heritage of the Church. Although cited by scholars as a pivotal point in ecclesiastical music, L’Orgue Mystique is shrouded in popular obscurity due to the dark cloud which enveloped Europe at the time along with Tournemire’s sudden passing during the chaotic onset of World War II.
Today’s recital represents a work in progress. Organist Richard Spotts, a native of Doylestown, Pennsylvania and graduate of Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, has set out to perform and educate the public of this seminal work, with the ultimate goal of performing the complete fifteen-hour cycle in a recital series over a period of ten days. In the meantime, he is performing movements of L’Orgue Mystique at various churches in the United States and Canada in preparation for the final recital series.